TUSCANY - Florence
FILE : Cathedral 1
TITLE : Deposition

LOCATION: Firenze, S. Maria del Fiore Cathedral. The dome tambour Ta7 (roundel)

DIMENSIONS: Diameter cm 480 c.

PROVENANCE: Original location

CHRONOLOGY: 1434-38

AUTHOR: Andrea del Castagno – cartoons (documented).

ASSIGNEMENT: Opera del Duomo

SUBJECT/S : Deposition . The subject is one of the Christological episodes included in the complex iconographic programme dedicated to the Glorification of the Virgin: the Annunciation (Ta5-destroyed), the Nativity (Ta6), the Presentation at the Temple (Ta4), the Resurrection (Ta8), the Ascension (Ta2); the sequence ends up with the Coronation of the Virgin (Ta1), located above St. Zenobi Chapel.

CRITICAL NOTES: Andrea del Castagno received 50 liras for the last roundel on 26th February 1444: "Andree Bartolomei pictori 1L. pro suo magisterio designi facti de uno ex oculis quando dominus noster Jesus Christe fuit depositus de cruce". According to Martin, Andrea, like other artists, had to draw a full-scale cartoon (1:1), considering the high amount given to him. The same day Bernardo di Francesco was paid too, for the execution of a stained glass window that , maybe, is identifiable with this roundel.

Acidini Luchinat notices the "plain and well-balanced composition", thanks to which "the postures of the large figures create harmonious relations in the circular space". A deeper and more specific study on the work is still to be made.

CONDITIONS: As many other windows in the Cathedral this one too underwent restorations: besides the maintenance works carried out by Lippi in 1447 and 1454, that without dismantling the windows he proceeds ’reactando’ (readjusting). Bernardo di Francesco and Leonardo della Scarperia succeeded Angelo Lippi in 158-59. The window has been recently restored to complete the XIX century one. In fact, the episode in the middle (the figure at the bottom of the Cross, Christ’s arm and chest, the pious, mourning woman) has been completely remade. In the post-war period the whole piece was replaced by the Tolleri’s stained glass laboratory on a new and different remaking of the lost figures. The breakings have been soldered in a lead grid.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Sources:

G.POGGI Il duomo di Firenze, Firenze, (1909), ed. a cura M. Haines 1988, vol. I nn. 744 – 50, 813, 818, 825- 26

Texts:

H. VAN STRAELEN Studien zur Florentiner Glasmalerei des Trecento und Quattrocento, Wattenschad, 1938, pp. 81-83

G. MARCHINI Le vetrate italiane, Milano Electa, 1955 p.42, n.53; C.ACIDINI LUCHINAT Le vetrate, in AA.VV. La cattedrale di S. Maria del Fiore a Firenze, Firenze, 1995, vol. II, pp. 278-80; F. MARTIN- P. G.RUF Le vetrate di S. Francesco in Assisi, Assisi, 1998, pp. 132 –3.

As for the bibliography of the whole stained glass windows complex of the Cathedral, see Bibl.Ghiberti

PHOTOGRAPHIC FILES: Electa Milano Archives

EDITOR: Caterina Pirina . February 2001